Friel hoping for extended league for Termon

TERMON  manager Francie Friel  is hoping that the upcoming Donegal fixtures forum will present a plan that will allow his teams to get more league games than last year.

Donegal’s fixtures forum will happen within the next fortnight and the group will decide how the games are going to return and in what format.

Last season clubs were presented with a number of options, and the one they chose was a regional league. Friel said were happy with the choice, but due to the timing  they only got one game in the league set up, which was not perfect for championship preparations.

“We are going to see what is offered. I think we will get more time than last year and I would hope that we will get more games, even if they have to be regional games.

“I don’t think they can run a league with relegation and play-offs. Last year we only got one game, other teams got two or three, but we can’t complain. We were lucky to get games considering what was going on in the world.”

Currently, Termon  are working on their own training for the new season in isolation, with players keeping themselves up to speed, waiting for news of when the collective training restrictions will be lifted.

Friel’s attitude to the current restrictions is one of acceptance. The Termon boss, however, says that they have no choice but to wait.

“You have to accept that there is a bigger picture. There are lives at stake. Some of our players have health issues like asthma and that sort of thing so you have to take that into account. Are we concerned about [not getting back to train]? Yeah. But we can only go back when they say it is safe to go back. So we have to wait till the numbers go down.”

At the moment, Friel said they are managing the situation as best they can, and making sure that the team is maintaining a certain level of work while they are isolated.

“We are in regular contact with the lads through Zoom, at least weekly. I would also ring them as well, to keep in contact. They are out doing their own programmes. They are doing the best they can.

“There is no date when we are going back so it is hard to tell boys to do X,Y, or Z. It’s hard when you don’t know when the end line is going to come.

“I think we are in a good place at the minute and we are not far away from the place we want to get to. When the vaccines are rolled out things will be better. Then we can get football back and we will get a bit of sanity again.”

With regards to the Termon team for this year, Michael Boyle is going to stay in London for another year. Aidan Sweeney went to Canada last year and he is not going to return either.

They were away last year, but Friel expects that they should have much the same team as last year.

The club are often challenged by the loss of players to emigration. The Coronavirus pandemic oddly helped that situation as less players travelled away.

Friel said: “In normal circumstances young boys will often decide to head away, but at the minute no one is doing anything.

“We are in a good place at the minute.

“Last year we would have lost two or three players, but because of lockdown they couldn’t go anywhere. I would say that when things open up people won’t be able to go away in the same way so we should be okay. But we don’t know how the world is going to open up.”

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